welcome home, tuts
Houston's musical theater masters showcase dynamic new can't-miss season
With Broadway scheduled to reopen in September, Houston’s own major musical producer, Theatre Under the Stars, has just announced its revised 2021-2022 lineup. The Homecoming season will bring their audiences back to the Hobby Center for the first time in over a year.
For those who had already signed up for the motley crew season of ’80s rockers, sea creatures, and hospitable singing Canadians don’t worry, many of the dazzling shows that were scheduled for last year have been moved to the coming season.
Due to delays in its New York opening, the pre-Broadway tour of the 1776 revival will not make it to Houston, so as a musical treat, TUTS has added the fan favorite addition, Jersey Boys who will be working their way back to us next spring.
“With increased access to vaccinations, we are feeling confident that we’ll be able to launch our season this October,” describes TUTS artistic director Dan Knechtges in a statement about the revised lineup and coming season. “We’re also thrilled to offer Houston audiences the true-life musical phenomenon, Jersey Boys. This is a show we often get requests for, and we’re excited to include it in this celebratory season.”
So for those who never stopped believing TUTS would be back, this season’s for you.
Rock of Ages (October 5 - 17)
There’s jukebox musicals and then there’s Rock of Ages. This ’80s nostalgia love story between a LA rockstar wannabe and starry eyed Kansas girl lets all the fun melodrama loose to the music and lyrics of REO Speedwagon, Pat Benatar , Twisted Sister, Bon Jovi, Styx, and Journey.
Jessica Hartman, who has designed the choreography for several recent TUTS shows will choreograph and direct this one.
Sister Act (November 2-14)
Based on the blockbuster Whoopi Goldberg film, Dan Knechtges will direct and choreograph this musical based on the blockbuster Whoopi Goldberg film, a TUTS premiere.
Houston’s own Simone Gundy (NBC’s The Voice , TUTS Memphis) gets into a TUTS habit as Sister Mary Clarence, a.k.a nightclub singer Deloris Van Cartier, who must go into divine witness protection after witnessing a murder. She soon finds the music spirit as part of the convent choir.
Disney’s Little Mermaid (December 7-24)
Take a dive under the seas for the holidays with this revival of the Disney Broadway favorite with music by eight-time Academy Award winner, Alan Menken and lyrics by Howard Ashman and Glenn Slater.
Mermaid Ariel gains legs but loses her voice to seek out new life and love on land. We don’t have to wait for the rumored live action on the screen version when we can have real live singing and dancing action on the Hobby stage in front of us.
South Pacific (February 8-20)
Winning a Pulitzer and 10 Tony’s in its time, the Rodgers and Hammerstein classic finds new audiences with each revival. The songs like “Younger Than Springtime” and “Some Enchanted Evening” continue to entice, while each generation can discover new nuances and meaning in this World War II story of prejudice, war, sacrifice, and love.
Come From Away (March 22-April 3)
This touring production of the award winning show about singular acts of kindness and connection will likely have new resonance after this past year of anxiety and isolation for many. Come From Away reveals the true story of what happened to some of the planes head to the U.S from Europe on 9/11 as they’re forced to land in Canada’s eastern-most province.
The stranded passengers find hospitality and songs from small town Newfoundlanders. All of the characters are based on real individuals, including Dallas-based Beverley Bass, the first female American Airlines captain.
Jersey Boys (May 10-22)
The boys are back in town next spring, as TUTS invites the touring Broadway favorite for a stay.
Houston musical lovers are always ready to relive the dramatic behind-the-music story of the early days and rise of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons in a show that also features all their hits including “Sherry,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “Oh What A Night,” “Walk Like A Man,” “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You,” and “Working My Way Back To You.”
“Our incredible subscribers have hung in with us through so many ups and downs over the last year, and we cannot wait to bring them back to the theatre with this amazing season,” said Knechtges.